Thank you for your participation and sharing during our meeting this week.
The telephone conference numbers for our group are:
Telephone conference number: (712) 775-7031 Access Code: 397-681-282
Playback recording number is: (712) 775-7029 Access Code: 397-681-282#
Playback reference number: 26
Here is the link for the MP3 of our meeting. Participants can also download the meeting directly from the conference line. This link will only be available for a limited time.
To listen to past recorded meetings, please go to the Recordings tab on the blog.
Our meetings are stored on MediaFire, a cloud storage service.
As a reminder, our group takes place on Sunday mornings at 5:30 AM EST.
Please join us as we “trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.” (AA Big Book 164:3)
THIS WEEK, we read and discussed the story in the AA Big Book, Crossing The River Of Denial.
I was unable to find a written biography of the author, Karen R. but, I did find a recording of her sharing her story. It is also available on YouTube.
Here are some of my notes from our meeting:
We discussed the insidiousness and power of denial. From the outside, it seems so obvious when people are in denial. But, when you are in it, you just can’t see it. Instead, we wallow in our addiction.
We all have our unique personal “blind-spots.” However, just as no one can change us until we are ready, we cannot change others until they too make the decision to change. Therefore, the most helpful thing that we can do for another person is to listen attentively, and be compassionate, supportive and loving towards them.
We are not here to rebuke or command people. We are here to elevate and strengthen each other. The power of authentic and compassionate listening is deep!
This corroborates what we have discusd about Step 5 in The Unpopular Guide:
Contrary to popular practices in the rooms today, healing does not come from reading our written inventories to another person. The healing comes from sharing our life story with someone who compassionately listens without telling us what to say, or do, or how we should be.
We briefly re-visited the great question Aidel asked a few weeks ago about the meaning of “Have we tried to make mortar without sand?” (BB 75:3)
This is some of what I found about sand and mortar:
Mortar is a mixture of sand, water and a binding agent, cement. The sand is used to make mortar better and stronger. Without sand, mortar is just cement paste. Over time, when mortar is made without sufficient sand, it becomes weak, cracks and deteriorates easily.
So, using the construction references that are found in the AA Big Book: How strong is our recovery? Do we have a structure that will be able to endure the elements over time and support itself?
We also read and shared briefly on a chapter, “The Freedom Of Acceptance – Dealing With Denial in the book Stepping Stones To Recovery by Bill Pittman.
There were a lot of really nice thoughts in the chapter. I thought I would share some of them now:
“What is surrender? Is it ego or surrender? Living in the ego means wanting what we don’t have. Surrender means appreciating and being grateful for what you do have. Ego is when we constantly think we know what is best for us.”
“Surrender is when we see that the great stream of life, our Higher Power, or God as we understand Him, knows what is best for us. It is the prayer of release. Living the surrendered life is like being a butterfly, a soul in full flight seeking the beauties of life. Like the butterfly, we start putting our trust in the present good things instead of hoping for the next good thing.”
NEXT WEEK, we will read and discuss the next chapter in The Unpopular Guide to Step 5.
I hope that everyone has finished sharing their 5th Step with another person!
Thank you all for sharing your experience, strength and hope. I am so grateful to be sharing this journey with all of you!
“Together we can do what we can never do alone.”
In love and service,
Stepping Stones To Recovery (1988) by Bill Pittman Glen Abbey Books; Seattle, WA ISBN 0-934125-04-X